Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vaio X and Ubuntu 10.04

For Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick, see this post.

For months we put up with poor performance and non-working fixes for my Vaio X. Even though Jakob Westhoffs articles put us in the right directions, they got a bit dated when the Ubuntu 10.04 release finally came.

10.04 does not take care of everything:

  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • LAN + WLAN
  • Built in web camera (Skype)
  • Trackpad with scroll area (no multi touch)
  • 2D graphics with external display (3D and Hardware Video Acceleration is also claimed to work) *
  • Audio & built in speakers *
Not working:
  • Stand by & hibernation (10.04 kernel regression?)
  • WWAN 3G modem (modem is detected but so far disconnects from network)

Here are my steps for a working installation:

1. Install Ubuntu from USB (instructions here).
No need to keep Windows 7 (unless you want to experiment with some of the WWAN solutions out there).

* 2. Install Poulsbo video driver for GMA 500 (instructions here).
They just recently included instructions for the 3D and Video Acceleration beta installation.

* 3. Install Alsa 1.0.23 for built in speaker support (instructions here).
10.04 comes with Alsa 1.0.21 but Vaio X requires 1.0.23. Tested with kernel 2.6.32-22, 2.6.32-23, 2.6.32-24 and 2.6.32-25.

The above leaves the Vaio X fully working. For WWAN I use my 3G phone over bluetooth. I have always been a fan of hibernation but with web browsers being able to remember windows/tabs between restarts I'm surviving without so far.


  1. Oups, the Poulsbo driver broke in the latest update this morning stating a problem with the psb-kernel-source.

    Solution: apt-get remove psb-kernel-source and then re-install as in 2 above.

  2. Quick re-compile Alsa 1.0.23 (with source directories remaining intact in /usr/src/alsa):
    cd /usr/src/alsa/alsa-driver*
    sudo ./configure
    sudo make
    sudo make install
    cd /usr/src/alsa/alsa-lib*
    sudo ./configure
    sudo make
    sudo make install
    cd /usr/src/alsa/alsa-utils*
    sudo ./configure
    sudo make
    sudo make install